Declining Author Incomes, the Future of Publishing, and More

by Staff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

American authors are earning 42 percent less than they did in 2009, according to the Authors Guild’s 2018 Author Income Survey.

Publishers Weekly brings together eight future leaders of publishing to discuss the big issues in the book business and where the industry is headed

“The fundamental flaw of the bookstore is that it’s designed to be quiet and not let people connect to each other,” says Jason Wuerfel, who solved the problem by introducing craft beers to his Indianapolis bookstore, Books & Brews.  (New York Times)

“Can one write a novel where the character is, probably half the time, able to have agency, while half the time, principalities and metaphysical forces are dueling to negotiate the character’s life?” On NPR’s Weekend Edition, Chigozie Obioma discusses the unchartered territory of his new novel’s narrator: a chi, the guardian spirit of Igbo cosmology. 

Over at the Guardian, Pat Baker rejoices in finally writing from a female perspective in her Costa-shortlisted novel The Silence of the Girls: “It’s the first time I’ve had a group of women sitting together over a dish of wine talking about what men are like in bed.”

“I worried that he had entered a period when it would be one thing after another, death by a thousand cuts: a fall, a stroke, an accident with a grandfather clock.” David Sedaris writes about his aging father, who fell and was hospitalized the night before his ninety-fifth birthday, and considers what’s lurking on the other side of middle age. (New Yorker)

Need more David Sedaris? Listen to him read one of the diary entries from his 2017 book Theft by Finding on Episode 16 of Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast.

Singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey has announced on Instagram (in a post she later deleted) that she has finished writing a book of poetry. (LA Times)

Buzzfeed and the Guardian have compiled lists of titles to look out for this year, including Ian McEwan’s Machines Like Me and Rachel Cusk’s Coventry.